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Toughie 1244

Toughie No 1244 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I found this trickier than most Giovanni puzzles probably because there were several answers that I was not familiar with. There were also a couple of bits of wordplay that needed more thought than Giovanni wordplay usually needs.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


7a    Fellow by river gets embarrassed about something odorous (8)
POMANDER: An Italian river + a fellow + a reversal of ’embarrassed’ = a ball of perfumes

9a    Essay interrupted by girl’s radio (6)
TRANNY: ‘To essay’ goes round a girl’s name to give an informal name for a type of small portable radio

10a    Gong without lustre, having been knocked around repeatedly (3-3)
TAM-TAM: A gong as used in an orchestra = two occurrences of a reversal of a word meaning ‘without lustre’

11a    Blank screen for viewer — why advertise, as you might say? (5-3)
WHITE-OUT: A homophone of WHY and ‘to advertise’

12a    Set to lose heart, being disturbed by poem (3,5-6)
THE LOTOS-EATERS: An anagram (disturbed) of SET TO LOSE HEART = the title of a poem by Tennyson. Hands up all those who thought that the anagram was faulty

15a    Cold drink that may be appreciated after performance (4)
CLAP: C (cold) + ‘to drink’

17a    Influence of unwise person restricting university (5)
CLOUT: An unwise person or fool round U (university)

19a    Turkey maybe is getting set back — just a bit (4)
DRIB: A reversal of the type of creature of which a turkey is an example

20a    French statesman no longer finding Britain sad, dire, broken (8,6)
ARISTIDE BRIAND: The name of a French statesman (1862-1932) who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France is an anagram of BRITAIN SAD DIRE. I’m not sure that I’d heard of him although the name did ring a faint bell once I’d unscrambled the anagram fodder

23a    Having a decorative frame that’s pleasant held by string (8)
CORNICED: ‘Pleasant’ goes inside ‘string’

25a    Anger about very quiet applause barely audible? (6)
RIPPLE: ‘To anger’ goes round PP (very quiet)

27a    Pin down characters next to each other in feast (6)
DEFINE: 2 consecutive letters of the alphabet go inside ‘to feast’

28a    Dedicated to print maybe and rarely excited about computers etc. (8)
LITERARY: An anagram (excited) of RARELY round a 2-letter abbreviation for the use of computers in handling data


1d    Lady up a pole (4)
DORA: A girl’s name is a reversal of A and pole (or perch)

2d    Political alliance with Conservative ruined later (6)
CARTEL: C (Conservative) + an anagram (ruined) of LATER

3d    Swim without showing bottom or beastly stomach (4)
CRAW: Remove the last letter from ‘to swim using a particular stroke’

4d    Hun has doubled component inside old territory (6)
ATTICA: Take the name of the most famous Hun and change L (50) into C (100). This gives a historical region of Greece

5d    Grass hiding wild animals is potential source of oil (8)
RAPESEED: A tall stiff marsh or water grass goes round wild animals (primates)

6d    After judicial process bit to be charged is under consideration (2,8)
IN QUESTION: A judicial enquiry before a jury (especially after a violent or sudden death) + an electrically-charged particle

8d    Popular protest has heart beating, not half (7)
DEMOTIC: A protest + the first half of a slang word for the heart

13d    A few that could be making fuss or providing Buddhist school (4,1,5)
HALF A DOZEN: The answer means a few (or more specifically six or sometimes approximately six). The answer can cryptically lead to either a fuss or a branch of Buddhism

14d    Rate little son ‘unemotional’ (5)
SCOLD: ‘To rate’ = S (son) + ‘unemotional’

16d    Gown I rip, gone for recycling (8)
PEIGNOIR: A long outer garment for women is an anagram (for recycling) of I RIP GONE

18d    Outside a pub it’s time for new year festival material (7)
TABARET: The Vietnamese lunar new year festival goes round a pub to give an upholsterer’s silk fabric

21d    Food for little singer before meal (6)
TUCKER: An informal word for food (especially down under) is the surname of little Tommy who sang for his supper in a nursery rhyme

22d    Broadcast? There’s more to it than me (6)
IMPART: ‘There’s more to it than me’ is equivalent to ‘I am not all of it’

24d    Senator / dealing out / pain (4)
DOLE: 3 meanings: the surname of a former US senator/a dealing out/an archaic or dialect word for pain

26d    Bait from line hovering over river (4)
LURE: L (line) + the name of a river in Yorkshire

Where are the cricket and bible references?

12 comments on “Toughie 1244

  1. Pretty straightforward but I’ll put my hand up for 12a, favourites were 11a and 13d thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the comments.

  2. Despite amazing myself with obscure stuff I know – the Frenchman in this instance – I found this a really difficult puzzle – I only had half the crossword done before I had to start work, and returning to it in my lunch hour, still struggled to finish it. 5*/2* for me. Thanks to Giovanni and Bufo.

  3. Very typically Giovanni and none the worse for it, tricky but fair and very enjoyable. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the review.

  4. The Don’s puzzles continue to get more fun. I was concerned about the anagram in 12a but checked the BRB to find the alternative spelling of lotus. I also missed the reference to the nursery rhyme at 21d and had to look up the French statesman.

    27a is a bit feeble [is the fact that the 2 letters in question are also the first 2 in feast meant to be significant?] but 6d, 13d and 22d are lovely clues [and the homophone at 11a works well].

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo.

  5. Missed out on 5D completely, and on 1D because I had tom-tom for 10A and the only pole for 1D that fitted was pogo and I couldn’t justify it. Spelled lotos incorrectly because I didn’t bother to fully unravel all the anagram letters, but if I had I would have assumed the anagram was faulty. I got 19A but didn’t think much of it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used in the singular. I did like 9A, 3D and 6D. A slog for me and I’m pleased that I got as far as I did. Very clever, if not greatly enjoyable in my book. Thanks to Giovanni and to Bufo for the review and enlightenment.

  6. We needed a bit of google help to confirm the Frenchman and did not get the Vietnamese bit of 18d although we had found the right material. Got the Tennyson poem right first time though so feeling quite smart about that. Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and Bufo.

  7. I have grown to look forward to the Don’s Toughies now that I can ‘follow’ his thinking. A very pleasant and entertaining solve with a couple of new facts added to my mental folders, 20a being not the least of them. I needed an online anagram solver which I sometimes use in order to get this French statesman. Thanks to the Don and thanks also to Bufo for all the explanations.

  8. Admit to 12a confusion ,but loved 13d ,thanks Bufo for the excellent review and to Giovanni for the challenge

  9. Absolutely impossible and didn’t like many of the answers when I came to Bufo for help. For me 10a. “matt” always has 2 “t’s” for instance. I know, “mat” is perfectly legit but…! And why do we always think an “odour” is unpleasant?

    I did get 20a with the help of Google and a list of French statesmen but, if I want a general knowledge crossword, I go to the Sunday Telegraph.

    1. Odd about odour. I always think of it as unpleasant but it legit either way. I think its got something to do with the letters -words starting with O are often negative (obnoxious , obsolete ) and dour also has negative vibes.

  10. Much better today -I only got stuck on 3 and needed confirmation on a couple more. Sticking points were 27a (though its really straightforward) and 4d. The 3rd was 9a which I filled in as soon as 4d was completed. So much easier than yesterdays. Id rate as ***/***. Thanks to compiler and to Bufo for help.

  11. Friday morning and just finished Thursday’s puzzle! Must be getting better. Actually I needed Bufo’s help with 7a. Does FELLOW which I wrongly interpreted as DON (with its Italian connotations) mean that the “river” had to Italian? I’m going to a cool dark room now. Thank you Giovanni and thank you Bufo. Sh-Shoney.

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